I recently went to a seminar by Dr. Lee Sturgeon, a specialist in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders. It was a great day. But one of the things that affected me most were some statistics he shared based on research by Attwood (2007).
The reason why we should be concerned:
Statistics tell us that children with disabilities experience about twice the level of bullying as children without disabilities. However, Attwood’s statistics for children with Aspergers Syndrome are even more concerning.
He found that children with Aspergers Syndrome are 71% more likely to be teased than their peers.
One of the key issues is that Aspergers Syndrome is a “hidden” disability. That is, there is no wheelchair, no missing limbs, no physical difference.
Here are more of Attwood’s statistics about children with Aspergers that give us more clues:
are 82% more likely to seek solitude
are 18% more likely to have imaginary friends
48% have unusual mannerisms
50% experience motor clumsiness
20% experience blinking or other physical tics
28% have a different accent to their family/peers
73% have difficulties with handwriting
80% experience problems with organisation and time management
Why we should take it seriously
Here are some of Attwood’s statistics about children with Aspergers that tell us how seriously we should take this issue:
Children with Aspergers Syndrome are
34% more likely to experience anxiety
33% more likely to be sad
64% more likely to be angry
What can we do?
I have discussed this in a series of posts at www.learn2bebuddies.blogspot.com